Car Hire from Bellingham Airport
Bellingham Airport sits in the northwest corner of the USA’s most north western state, Washington. Close to the Canadian border, the city of Bellingham, beautiful coastline and a huge national park, the airport is a great starting point for a Washington adventure. With a hire car from Bellingham Airport, you can explore at your own pace and enjoy a great selection of scenic routes.
Where to hire a car at Bellingham Airport
There’s a good choice of car hire companies operating at Bellingham Airport. Alamo, Budget, Avis, Enterprise and National all have offices inside the terminal building. The rental car parking lot is close by, a short walk to the left as you exit the airport.
Petrol Stations near Bellingham Airport
The closest petrol station to Bellingham Airport is located just four minutes’ drive away. It’s an ARCO garage situated on Airport Drive, south of the airport before you reach the connection with route 5.
Driving around Bellingham Airport
Bellingham Airport sits on route 5, a major highway travelling north to Custer and the Canadian border and south to Bellingham and Seattle. From route 5, there are connections to many other roads travelling west towards the coast and east towards North Cascades National Park. From Bellingham, you can also pick up route 11, a scenic coastal route.
If you’re planning to drive over the border into Canada, check with your car hire company first. Insurance may become invalid out of Washington State or further fees may apply.
Getting to your destination
Hiring a car from Bellingham Airport, you’ll find a range of incredible destinations within easy reach. Here are just a few of them:
Bellingham is a lively city with a centre of independent business and restaurants, museums and arts venues and the Whatcom Museum of History and Art. The Fairhaven area of the city is home to 19th and 20th century buildings and many historical sights.
It takes around 15 minutes to travel from Bellingham Airport to Bellingham city centre, taking route 5 south and then North State Street into the centre. Depending on which part of the city you find yourself in, streets are laid out over a north south or a diagonal grid system. With lots of one way streets too, navigation can be tricky so a good map of satellite navigation system would be very useful.
Parking costs under $1 per hour in the downtown area. On street parking is available throughout the day and there are some free car parks too.
North Cascades National Park
To the east of Bellingham Airport, North Cascades National Park features jagged mountains, forested valleys and over 300 glaciers. Visitors can go on ranger guided tours, go wildlife spotting, explore hiking and cycling trails, take a rafting trip down the river and, in colder months, enjoy a host of winter sports too.
North Cascades National Park is around an hour and 30 minutes from Bellingham Airport. Drivers should take route 5 south and then, after passing through Bellingham, route 20 east. There is plenty of parking available at the main park recreation areas and information on the park website about any road closures or maintenance work.
Birch Bay is situated north along the coast from Bellingham. It’s famous for its incredible bird life and has one of the largest heron nesting areas in Washington. Also in the local area, visitors will find a large state park and a number of golf courses.
It takes around 25 minutes to drive from Bellingham Airport to Birch Bay, taking route 5 north and then route 99 west. Birch Bay is a small place, easy to navigate and with plenty of parking options.